Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 05:58 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 05:58 | SYDNEY

Egypt: TV skewing our perceptions


Sam Roggeveen


18 February 2011 13:45

Daniel Larison, a blogger at The American Conservative, writes:

It is not immediately obvious that “the people of Egypt” approve of what has happened, and it certainly isn’t true that “the people” caused Mubarak’s fall. A large, dedicated group of protesters centered mainly in Cairo contributed to this. As (George) Friedman bluntly puts it: 'But then, it is not clear that the demonstrators in the square represent the wishes of 80 million Egyptians. For all the chatter about the Egyptian people demanding democracy, the fact is that hardly anyone participated in the demonstrations, relative to the number of Egyptians there are...'

Yes, there's been excessive and even embarrassing euphoria in the Western media about the apparent victory of 'people power' in Egypt. In print, online and on radio, this has at least been balanced by references to the importance of behind-the-scenes actors, particularly the army. On television, however, pictures rule, and since there's very little drama in broadcasting shots of the presidential palace or the Ministry of the Interior, the protesters get all the air time.